More than a bandão, and there is no doubt that they are, Senyawa are also, for more than a decade, the most magical and active evocation of a necessary decentralization in terms of music abroad, born outside the usual centers and taken to outside more unexplored centers – dichotomy center <-> outside in various realities. Messengers at the forefront of a vibrant movement on Indonesian soil, which has already brought us names like Gabber Modus Operandi while others are escaping obscurity – the ‘Anthology of Experimental Music From Indonesia’ may be a good entry point, but there is still much to desbravar – the Java duo has made a decisive contribution to making beautiful things happen, through countless parallel projects, collaborations, broadcasting and fieldwork: the radio and festival Nunasonic or the publisher and promoter Yes No Wave, all born out of necessity. Formed in 2010 by Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi, they invoke the spirits of traditional Javanese music, the abandon and attitude of punk, the volume of noise and more esoteric metal and the ceremonial and ecstatic side of psychedelia in a music of communion and electrified transcendence. , using the expressive voice of Shabara and the electronics and instruments invented by Suryadi.
Educated in the resourcefulness and bravery of DIY, they roamed the streets of Java in guerrilla-style concerts to expand into a network that took them all over the world, festivals like Unsound or Dekmantel, to collaborations with people like Stephen O’Malley, Damo Suzuki or Keiji Haino and even a short documentary by Vincent Moon. Already counting on a respectable discography and after the acclaim of ‘Sujud’ in 2018, in 2021 they had the commendable and unusual maneuver of releasing ‘Alkisah’ by 44 different publishers around the world, as if projecting an idea of global collectivism. In the face of widespread amazement in the West, Shabara commented in a revealing interview with Wire magazine: “I just want to hear that it’s interesting and the music is good, not just ‘wow! Indonesians can make something like this?’ Well, we were doing this years ago, actually. And we are still doing it. We just didn’t have the infrastructure to support and promote it. So the West never ‘discovered’ Senyawa. All this ‘weird Indonesian stuff’ they are finding about – yes, it’s already there.” It is said. BS
Pedro Alves Sousa
An unstoppable saxophonist and vital energy for various movements in this and other cities, Pedro Alves Sousa is recognized as having a rare and natural ability to inhabit and confuse different musical spheres, which in his passage through jazz in various forms, through the most skittish electronics, by the biased rock and nameless and placeless improvisations, it never loses the collection and personal stamp of the most honest and non-conformist. From the long-standing partnership with Gabriel Ferrandini – in duo, Volúpias, Casa Futuro or more or less perennial formations – to EITR, occasional collaborations with bands such as Black Bombaim to the most recent collusion with Simão Simões. And so on, back and forth in an expansive network that has sublimated a language as continually new as it is unique. Blessed craft. BS